Employer profile


Updated: December, 2023

About MDS

The Fresh Produce and Food industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the country and MDS nurtures talented graduates to become future leaders in this innovative, diverse, and sustainable industry.

MDS is a non-for-profit organisation that was set up in 1986 by a group of forward-thinking growers concerned about the shortage of skilled managers within the industry. Our current membership stands at over 60 businesses which continues to grow year on year. The collaboration of MDS and industry leading businesses has fast-tracked the career of over 500 graduates.

MDS offers a unique challenge beyond other graduate schemes. The two-year programme is a rotation of up to four roles in a variety of businesses. MDS match trainees to placements to give each person the broadest possible opportunity and experience. This allows trainees to proactively explore their strengths, motivation, and ideal fit without making a long-term commitment to one role or business.

MDS is a training and development programme which is inclusive of all degree disciplines and experience. Our trainees demonstrate strong leadership potential and are highly motivated and hardworking. MDS not only offers roles with real responsibility, but a Level 5 qualification accredited by the Chartered Management Institute in Leadership and Management.

The value of a trainee is emphasised by the support given throughout their development. A trainee has access to an experienced mentor to support all different aspects of the programme and to help trainees reach their full potential. This potential is reflected in recent statics, showing that MDS has a 98% retention rate for trainees completing the graduate scheme and 100% of MDS trainees, who complete the programme, are offered full time employment in the industry.

Roles are varied and cover all aspects of the food and fresh produce supply chain, below are some examples of secondments:


A client/customer facing role, that requires multitasking and a high level of coordination. Developing effective business networks with internal and external stakeholders. Supporting the commercial performance, adhering to processes, handling of data with analysis. Previous secondment roles: Corporate Produce Assistant, Junior Commercial Manager, E-Commerce Growth Executive.


Plan, coordinate and improve processes across a variety of business functions. High level of technical input, data gathering and reporting that drives growth with strategy support. Previous secondment roles: Operations Supervisor, Site Trainer, Operational Excellence Support.


Directly involved in the sourcing and purchasing of products and services. Sourcing suppliers, contract drafting, negotiation and managing suppliers through the whole procurement process. Previous secondment roles: Assistant Procurement Manager, Corporate Produce Assistant.

Project / research / trials

Initiate projects, carry out planning by setting goals and objectives. Track work to be completed, set deadlines and delegate tasks. Implement any necessary changes throughout the process. Recording of data and analysis.
Previous secondment roles: Junior Project Manager, Change Champion, Development Technologist.


Organising and participating in the daily harvesting and analysis. Implement the monitoring of the UK agronomy/field practices, trials and data collection plan for existing crops and new varieties. Previous secondment roles: Deputy Harvest Manager, Planting Manager, Harvest Planner.


Coordination and contribution towards a marketing strategy/campaign. Marketing a product or service. Using a variety of communication platforms internal and external to the business. Previous secondment roles: Digital Marketing, Marketing Officer, Communications Specialist.


Ensure quality of the product is the correct specification and quality for clients. Following strict food safety requirements and protocol. Monitor staff operations. Previous secondment roles: Quality Control, Fruit Technologist, Quality and Assurance Account Manager.

Work sectors

animals, plants and agriculture, transport and logistics, engineering and manufacturing


UK wide, Peru, Switzerland

Contact details

01733 595123
Unit 14 Papyrus Business Parc
Papyrus Road

Similar employers